Want to travel to another world? One Berlin-based startup is making it a reality. A virtual reality that is.
Complete virtual immersion
Illusion Walk was created by brothers Jim Rüggeberg (CEO) and Julien Rüggeberg (CTO). When you walk into their office in Charlottenburg, it’s hard to tell what the Berlin-based startup is all about. It’s simply a 150 square meter box with white walls covered in gray squares or QR-codes. Nothing to see here.
Or is there?
How Illusion Walk works
Users are equipped with a headset, headphones and a backpack that holds a computer, allowing them to walk through to other empty rooms. As they walk through, the QR-codes act as indicators to alter the images on the headset. The user then sees a complete virtual reality that has been created by the software. But at the same time they are moving though physical rooms, touching real walls, pushing real buttons and entering through real doors.
But they don’t stop there. To deepen the physical experience, Illusion Walk also use fans to produce wind, a vibrating platform to similar an elevator and a machine to produce different smells. The experience is truly one of several senses.
Virtual reality is here to stay
According to the Rüggeberg brothers, virtual reality will be the way of the future. They believe this medium has many possibilities and are currently, for example, in talks with external teams from TU Berlin, TU Vienna and Film University Babelsberg to transfer their content onto a VR platform.
They are also looking to create overlap between virtual reality and other content such as multiplayers games, walkable showrooms, traditional music, interactive story telling and much more. They think that VR could have a great place in the future of entertainment as well as education.
But the key is finding cost-effective ways
One downside of VR is that it’s expensive. Without securing outside funding, the brothers have already put €2 million of their own money into Illusion Walk.
The brothers are determined to stay in Germany, however. They aim to become the leader of immersive, virtual reality experience. They also refuse to quick sell topics such as shooter games, pornography, extreme violence and horror.
But that’s actually to protect the user. Because the experience is so immersive, they don’t want to include something that could shock the user. For example, they’ve already said some users find the experience claustrophobic, even though they’re standing in an open room.